Monday, March 06, 2006

Vilafonte 'Cabernet' blog Friday - day 24

Friday was the first, and only, harvest this week
As predicted on Tuesday, we did not bring grapes in again until today, due to rain and the national holiday. It has been cold, cloudy, and drizzly this week!! Bernard barreled down the Malbec, pressed out Block Z Merlot and barreled it down. We moved the Cabernet Franc and Block E Merlot off of cold soak into fermentation (just warmed them up, started naturally). Today we did our first Cabernet of the season, Block D. Each of our vineyard blocks, which are 1 hectare ( 2 ½ acres) or less, has its own personality, which I have learned through the years. Block D is one of our most concentrated, and has very solid tannins; it is a major "building block" of the longevity of our wines. Below are some photos taken as harvest was starting this morning:
1. picking basket waits for tasty Cabernet
2. our harvesters
3. Mr. Spies pulls tiny trailer needed to fit between narrow rows and pick up grape-filled boxes
4. " vineyard pre-sort" - removes leaves, shriveled clusters; light colored clusters
5. forklift on tractor will pick up bins, load them on a flatbed truck to get them to the wineryWe pick only 1 block per day - between 4 and 7 tons. We pick in the morning starting at 7 a.m. when the grapes are cool; do a presort in the vineyard, load bins on a truck and whisk them away to the winery.
Have a look at a video of our sorting table. Click HERE
Zelma Long, Vilafonte winemaking partner

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